Let's think back to the 1960s, when more people were writing surreal, paranoid themes. Now place Jim Henson in that context, and you get Time Piece (YouTube, excerpt; behind the scenes clip, YT). Add in collaboration with writer (and puppeteer) Jerry Juhl and you have The Cube (YT, full film), as well as the setting for the hypnagogic story of a man pursued in the desert, called Tale of Sand. This was first written up as a screenplay and pitched as a movie in the late 1960s, then revised and re-pitched in 1974. But no one bit, so the screenplay was shelved, and then Jim gained fame for Sesame Street and The Muppets. Elements of Tale of Sand appeared in The Muppet Movie (YT, full movie) and other places since then, but the work was largely unseen and forgotten. Jump ahead three decades, and the Henson Company teams up with Archaia, first releasing Fraggle Rock and Dark Crystal comics, then digging in the Henson Company vault to bring Tale of Sand to light with cartoonist Ramón Pérez. You can see a preview of the graphic novel on Graphicly (including a nice dynamic display) and Amazon (static images, but more pages in the preview). [more inside]
It's debatable whether the troubled World War Z signals the end of the ongoing zombie craze, but the film that started it all is much more clear: Danny Boyle's bleak, artful cult horror-drama 28 Days Later, which saw its US premiere ten years ago this weekend. From its iconic opening shots of an eerily abandoned London (set to Godspeed You! Black Emperor's brooding post-rock epic "East Hastings") to the frenzied chaos of its climax, Boyle's film -- a dark yet humanist tale of a world eviscerated by a frighteningly contagious epidemic of murderous rage -- reinvented and reinvigorated the genre that Romero built (though many insist its rabid, sprinting berserkers don't really count). And while sequel 28 Weeks Later with its heavyhanded Iraq War allusions failed to live up to the original (despite boasting one of the most viscerally terrifying opening sequences in modern horror), and 28 Months looks increasingly unlikely, there remains a small universe of side content from the film, including music, short films, comics, and inspired-by games. [more inside]
Director and/or star of many of the greatest films ever made including The Great Dictator (2:05:16) [Globe scene and the eternally goosebump providing Final speech], The Immigrant (20:01), The Gold Rush (1:11:49), City Lights (1:22:40), Modern Times (1:27:01), and Monsieur Verdoux (1:59:03), Charlie Chaplin's movies have entered the public domain in most countries. Below the fold is an annotated list of all 82 of his official short and feature films in chronological order, as well as several more, with links to where you can watch them; it's not like you had work to do right? [more inside]
Finite Films takes your idea for movie constraints and turns the favourites into short films. For example: "One character must use refrigerator poetry magnets to leave a note/message for another character", "One character loves vacuuming naked", or "One used to drive a moped until it was stolen".
"My name is Blinky, and I just want to be your friend!" A well-crafted short film by Ruairi Robinson (slightly gory CGI ending may be NSFW).
"Elevated" (part 1, 2), a short film about three people trapped in an elevator, by Vincenzo Natali, director of Cube and Splice. With bonus Spanish subtitles.
Shinya Kimura likes motorcycles. (A short film about a custom motorcycle engineer.)
He invented or popularized a startling array of the fundamental elements of film: the dissolve, the fade-in and fade-out, slow motion, fast motion, stop motion, double exposures and multiple exposures, miniatures, the in-camera matte, time-lapse photography, color film (albeit hand-painted), artificial film lighting, production sketches and storyboards, and the whole idea of narrative film.
By 1897, in a studio of his own design and construction – the first complete movie studio – his hand forged virtually everything on his screen. Norman McLaren writes, "He was not only his own producer, ideas man, script writer, but he was his own set-builder, scene painter, choreographer, deviser of mechanical contrivances, special effects man, costume designer, model maker, actor, multiple actor, editor and distributor." Also, his own cinematographer, and the inventor of cameras to suit his special conceptions. Not even auteur directors such as Charles Chaplin, Orson Welles, John Cassavetes, and Stanley Kubrick would personally author so many aspects of their films."Inside: 57 films by Georges Méliès, the Grandfather of Visual Effects. [more inside]
Never ever borrow a friend's mobile, trust hitch hikers or strangers in furry costumes, never get distracted, worry about the first time or about your young son not being manly enough, and most of all never, ever forget stuff. Also, remember to always be nice to your enemies, your granny and policemen, but don't be too nice to your neighbours, and don't forget to get the car washed. Lots more brilliant short films viewable online from UK's Channel 4 Film (Real/WM streams).
Copy Shop is a 12-minute dialogue-free film by director Virgil Widrich about a guy inadvertently duplicating himself over and over (320 x 240 streaming Real format download link). The most interesting aspect of the short, however, is that it was made frame-by-frame of photocopies, manipulated for jarring visual effects and then shot with a camera to put together the final cut. (Mentioned previously by film aficionado pxe2000.) Also see Widrich's photocopied short Fast Film with even more calamitous, unraveling effects. Get this guy toner refills for his birthday.
When little girls rub their eyes, the face of the man to whom they're destined will become visible in the swirling eddy of light. (a short film from Doc Hammer of Venture Bros. fame)
Sure, you've seen Tie-Tanic, Troops and American Jedi, but is there room for another short spoof? Why yes, and I feel like I can watch them all day.